Moanies prepping

Next Tuesday I shall be off to Scotland for my first trip of the year. I’m going with Alan Sloman and Andy Walker for a little jaunt around the Monadhliath. Originally we were going to the Cairngorms, but there’s been a lot of snow, so it was difficult to work out a route that didn’t require some serious mountaineering. This is the route that Alan gave me, but it could be subject to change, depending on circumstances.

Monadhliath April 2014It’s basically a big loop from Newtonmore to Aviemore of approximately 30 miles over three days, so we’ll be doing about ten miles a day. Enough to be serious, but not excessively arduous. For all of us, this is part of our TGO Challenge preparation, both for fitness and to try out some new gear. Today, I assembled most of my gear for packing next week.

IMG_0795I’ve decided on a new approach to assembling gear. Essentially, I’m using two plastic crates, one for clothes and one for gear. This makes it really easy to tick items off a list and have them to hand for packing.  It was much quicker than my previous method of spreading everything over the floor! Because I’ve not crushed down the gear (especially the down jacket), it’s looks a lot more than it actually is.

The weather forecast (at the moment) is for temperatures between 0-10c and reasonably dry.  Of course, that can change but it seems sensible to pack for colder conditions.

To that end, I’m taking my PHD Yukon down jacket, which is a lot warmer than the Minimus and about 150g heavier. Mine is a special edition with a waterproof shell. I’m taking some warmer Polartech leggings, which are about 100g heavier than my usual lightweight ones. My jacket will be the Paramo Vasco, but I’m also taking a hardshell (OMM Cypher smock).

On my feet, I will be using Ecco Biom Hike boots. There’s been a bit of discussion about whether to take microspikes. I’m going to take some Yaktrax as they are a lot lighter (165g vs. c.500g) and they grip well on icy paths. We are not doing anything very serious, so they should be more than capable without weighing too much.

I’m going to test the MLD Trailstar (at last). It will be interesting how the Trailstar and OookStar combo fare. I’m taking six MSR blizzard stakes, plus some Eastons and titanium pins to cover all eventualities, hence a hefty 308g for pegs.

I’ve decided to take an Exped Downmat UL rather than the Nemo Zor as it could be quite cold at night. I think the weight penalty of c.340g extra is worth it as insurance. My sleeping bag will be my trusty Alpkit Pipedream 400. I did think about the Rab Neutrino 200 SL, but I’m not certain of its warmth. I could go heavier and take my Pipedream 600, but if I’m cold I can always put on the Yukon jacket.

I’m taking one extra set of gloves and an additional hat as backup. Overall, I reckon the warmer gear is about 1kg extra. I’ve sacrificed my UL umbrella to bring the extra weight penalty down to about 800g. My overall base weight is 9.6kg. I’ve not weighed stuffsacks, so that will boost it a tad.

Food shopping has yet to be done, but I’d imagine that food and sundries will be around 3kg, making an all up weight of around 13kg at a guess. That’s not SUL, but reasonable for winter bimble. If you’re very lucky, I might publish a full gear list before I go 🙂


12 thoughts on “Moanies prepping”

  1. Have fun Robin. I’m heading there for a backpack during the Easter weekend. I may now have to change my route as yours is very similar!!

  2. Good idea re the pegs, my Trailstar didn’t look so pretty after the ti pins started flying around. The MSR stakes should hold in about anything. I like the sound of the PHD Yukon jacket, they have the gillet for sale at the moment and I have been getting twitchy looking at it.

    And then of course the vexing question as to where to eat in Aviemore …

  3. Definitely wise to take the Pipedream sleeping bag and not the Rab Neutrino 200. I have one of the latter and it’s not warm enough this time of year. I last used it in the Cairngorms in September and it was chilly.
    Have a great walk and hope to see you on the Challenge.

    1. My Neutrino is the SL top bag modified with synthetic insulation underneath. It might be warm enough but don’t want to chance it

  4. Enjoy the trip Robin….don’t let them lead you astray. All Alan’s routes start and finish in a drinking den of some description I believe!!
    Good luck, perhaps I’ll see you at Tarfside on the Challenge.

  5. Will be interesting to hear about your walk and what the conditions are like. I’m going to be in the Southern Cairngorms around Blair Atholl on the first May bank holiday – so hopefully the write up will give me a heads up 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s